What Is Beer Pong

What is “beer pong”? Where does it come from? Put simply, beer pong is a drinking game played by two teams of (usually) two players each. Each team takes turns trying to land a ping-pong ball in the opposing teams cups. This makes it sound way too simple. It is a bit more complex than that. Let me explain a bit further.

image of beer pong cups in rack formation

In a basic game of beer pong, each team stands at one end of a table, or other flat surface. This is the playing field. At each end of the table, the teams have ten cups arranged in a triangle similar to bowling pins. These cups can be filled with just about anything, but, as the name implies, they are usually filled with beer. Each team then takes turns trying to land a ping-pong ball in the opposing teams cups, called a make. When a team scores a make, the opposing team is required to consume whatever beverage is in that cup. The cup is then removed from the table. This is the most basic explanation of how the game works.

History of Beer Pong

So, where does beer pong come from? That’s not entirely clear, but it is widely believed that the game had it’s origins sometime in the 1950’s or 1960’s at Dartmouth College. The game was originally played using a regulation ping-pong table, complete with paddles.

As time progressed, the paddles fell into disuse and the name beer pong was adopted. Since these early days, and its humble beginnings, the game has become a part of the campus culture of Dartmouth College. From there, it has spread nation wide, and even to other countries!

How to Properly Play Beer Pong

Okay, so now you know a bit about what beer pong is and where it came from. How is it played? It’s actually fairly simple. As stated before, each team starts with 10 cups arranged in a triangular pattern at one end of the table. The players on one team take turns trying to land the ball in one of the opposing team’s cups. This can be done with one of three different shooting styles.

The first, and arguably the most common, is the bounce shot. As the name implied, this technique consists of attempting to bounce the ball off the table and into a cup. A close second to the bounce shot is the arc shot. In this one, the shooter attempts to lob the ball into the opponent’s cup using a motion similar to a free throw in basketball. The third style is the fastball, or snipe shot. Again, this one is fairly self explanatory. The shooter simply throws the ball at the target cup. The fastball is most common when the house rules state that a cup knocked over is removed from play. A good fast ball thrower can eliminate multiple cups with a good shot.

As with most party games, the rules may vary depending on where the game is being played. For instance, one game may allow the rearranging of the remaining cups after a cup is removed. This is called ‘re-racking’ and such a rule could be used to make the game a bit more challenging. If you plan on playing by house rules, though, you should make sure that everybody understands what they are before you begin. If you are looking for more great beer pong rules, view this page.

Get Quality Beer Pong Tables

Once again, just about any flat surface will suffice to serve as a playing field. However, for those true beer-pong enthusiasts, there are companies that market “official”, or even custom beer pong tables. There are many different types of 8ft tables with different logos and designs to satisfy everyone. We are more than happy to provide you with a list of reputable companies if you are in the market for a table.

For those real hard core players, try looking up the official rules as created by the World Series of Beer Pong. Bring this game to your next party, and liven up the house. Check out this great video of people playing pong and get yourself excited to play today!